NBA season 2013: FIve darkhorse playoff teams

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Oct 19, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) and Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) during the game at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013-14 season is upon us, and this is about the time that we always think that we know what we know. Collectively, NBA fans and pundits alike are convinced of whatever their analysis of the upcoming campaign is. Of course, it all looks and sounds so good until the opening tap of the season.

We know a number of things for sure: LeBron is easily the best player on earth, and Kevin Durant is by far the second best. The Miami Heat have won back-to-back championships, and they’re clearly the class of the Eastern Conference again this year. There are a handful of teams (Orlando, Phoenix, Philadelphia, etc.) that are tanking with a vengeance.

But who will fill out the field of 16 teams come playoff time next spring? Sure, the seeding is impossible to predict, but who are the teams that appear to be on the fence and could surprise some casual fans with their appearance in postseason play? Well, here are five teams that should be at the forefront of the race for the final playoff spots come March and April:

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Tags: Anthony Davis Cleveland Cavaliers Damian Lillard Denver Nuggets John Wall Kyrie Irving NBA NBA Opening Week New Orleans Pelicans Portland Trail Blazers Washington Wizards